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Cole Foster (7) during the game between the Lipscomb Bison and the Auburn Tigers at Plainsman Park in Auburn, AL on Sunday, Mar 5, 2023.
Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers
Cole Foster (7) during the game between the Lipscomb Bison and the Auburn Tigers at Plainsman Park in Auburn, AL on Sunday, Mar 5, 2023. Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers

No. 11 Auburn puts together late comeback to down Gamecocks

In its first true road test of the season, with their backs against the wall, No. 11 Auburn (11-1-1) was able to make crucial play after play down the stretch to secure a late comeback against Jacksonville State (4-9) for its sixth straight victory by a score of 6-3. 

“We responded. I thought that was the difference there in the ballgame,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “It’s neat to play some of these closer games and having to come from behind. Some teams can only win one way. I think we’re at least learning or gaining a little confidence that we can win more than one way.”

The game started off in a stalemate between the two sides, that was only until Jacksonville State would strike first. The Gamecocks were able to get out in front in the bottom of the sixth, curtesy of a Javon Hernandez run to put the home team up by one. 

However, it would not take the Tigers long to respond.

Auburn would be able to fire right back in the next frame when Cole Foster would connect with a ball, sending it out to shallow left field to score a run that was nothing short of crucial. 

“We’ve kind of shown that all year, our two-strike ability with two outs,” Foster said. “We just keep stacking on putting things together. I think that’s been really good for us lately, and I think it’ll keep getting better as we grow more as team. That’s kind of our mantra is to be the toughest team in the box.”

That would only be a snapshot of what Foster put together on the night. The junior from Plano, Texas, put together a season best four hits, topping a three-hit game against Lipscomb, in addition to a walk. 

Freshman sensation Ike Irish continued the dominate performances that have been at the forefront of Auburn’s success throughout the season. 

The catcher contributed two hits on the night, but by far the most important came in the seventh inning when Irish hit a deep ball to left field that would soar over Jacksonville State’s Mason Maners, before rolling to the outfield fence, ultimately leading to a two run double. 

With the Tigers playing five games in seven days, it was all but certain Butch Thompson would have to rely on the pitching staff more at this stage of the year than any other point thus far.  

Konner Copeland would receive the call to take the mound and would not disappoint when being called upon. The senior would go five innings, which saw only two hits and one walk to go along with a game-high six strikeouts. 

“That’s exactly what I wanted to go do today. I wanted to fill up the zone and do whatever I could do to get on an off the field as quickly as possible,” Copeland said.

Fellow senior Chase Isbell saw action in route to his first win of the year. Isbell would go one inning, while allowing one hit and collecting two strikeouts. 

Jacksonville State sophomore Brennan Norton posed to be the only threat throughout the game for Auburn. The third baseman put together a three-hit game, which led to one run and one additional run batted in, the best of the season for the second-year man.

In the end, the effort from Norton would fall short, as the Gamecocks were relying on a one man show to win the game. 

Auburn would dominate the offensive side of the ball, putting together a 12-hit game, continuing the dominate offensive showing that fans have grown accustomed to this season. 

On the other side, Jacksonville State would only manage to be able to get seven hits in the game. 

Auburn will continue its heavy schedule this weekend against Southeastern Louisiana. The Tigers will attempt to collect its second straight weekend series sweep starting on Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT. 

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